‘This is becoming an epidemic’: LeFrak City residents mourn 10-year-old pedestrian killed in collision

Dean Moses/QNS

Councilman Francisco Moya and the LeFrak City Tenants Association held a vigil on Tuesday evening for the 10-year-old boy who was fatally struck by a New York City Department of Sanitation truck outside the LeFrak City apartments in Corona earlier that morning.

Prayer candle in hand at the intersection where the tragic crash occurred, Moya linked it to an “epidemic” of pedestrian fatalities both in Corona and across the city. He urged the Department of Transportation to take action along the stretch of 57th Avenue with street calming measures and a traffic study.

“I’ve had meetings and phone calls today with the Department of Transportation looking for different ways to create street calming and also implement different kinds of measures that would protect the residents who will be crossing the street here,” said Moya. 

Moya said that he requested more crossing guards, better street lighting and changes to the traffic signaling. Without the final results of the then-ongoing NYPD investigation of the accident, Moya declined to say whether these measures could have saved the 10-year-old boy and his mother, who was in critical condition at Elmhurst Hospital at the time of the vigil.

Moya added that he has asked the DOT to conduct a study on how pedestrians can be safer on the thoroughfare on 57th Avenue and on Junction Boulevard.

Michelle Dunston, LeFrak City Tenants Association president, said that the organization had been working with DOT to address pedestrian safety prior to the accident, and that the agency would be coming to their next meeting. 

Dunston, also the crossing guard supervisor for the 110th Precinct, said that there were no crossing guards stationed at the location of the accident. Moya said that he had put in a request months ago to get more crossing guards along the stretch.

Later that night, an NYPD spokesperson told QNS that the Highway District’s Collision Investigation Squad determined the accident occurred after the sanitation truck made an eastbound right turn onto 57th Avenue, striking the two pedestrians who emerged from the passenger side of the vehicle and subsequently running them over with the passenger-side front tire.

Moya said that the vigil was organized to show support during the family’s time in need. No members of the family were present.

A DOT spokesperson said that the agency will visit the crash site along with NYPD and will continue to evaluate the location for potential further safety improvements, as is standard practice after any traffic fatality.